As I write this I am looking at 5 different shoulder bags I have hanging in my studio. Behind me on a rolling rack are at least 25 more. Some are variations on a theme. Some are one of a kind. All of them are of my own design.
To my left, behind my chair, are my five favorite pieces of luggage. One is saddle brown sumptuous leather rolling valise that I bought in Lucca, Italy. Another is a cowhide soft sided duffle bag trimmed in silver studs that I purchased in Santa Fe. Yet another was a gift from a client, a dark supple leather bag from Venice. And yet another is a cotton fabric with calligraphy design given to me by my sister.
I love my luggage. And I love my bags.
This morning I woke up still thinking about two bags I saw yesterday at the mall. One was a backpack that had 8 different snap pouches on the outside. How fun would that be?! And the other was a soft leather shoulder bag with at least 24 delicious inches of fringe dangling down each side.
It seems, to even a casual observer, that I am obsessed with how people carry the things that are important to them. Therefore I shall call this essay, and obsession, “The Carry.”
One of Life’s most important lessons is how to carry one’s self in this world—with dignity and a regal bearing—
a high certain stride into the future
that is the territory marked “unknown.”
How does one carry the challenges in life—
with cynicism and a snarling countenance?
(Rage is sorrow left unexpressed for too long.)
Or a certain lightness of being that says
This too shall pass
All is well with my soul.
How does one carry one’s attachment to things?
I once had to flee a raging forest fire—escaping barely
with my dog and the saddle.
And I later had to flee a raging marriage—escaping only
with one suitcase and a $20 bill I had found.
I’ve learned over time that fewer is better
and to always, always travel light in this world.
Fringe down the side is optional.